Israel has visibly beefed up its military presence in the Golan Heights while neighboring Syria reportedly has placed its army on high alert and - for the first time in 30 years - has opened a strategic border road to civilian traffic in a move some Israeli security officials worry could help facilitate guerilla attacks against Golani Jewish communities.
The escalating military moves on both sides come as a top official from Syrian Baath party warned in an interview if Israel doesn't vacate the strategic Golan Heights by August or September, Syrian guerrillas will launch "resistance operations" against the Golan's Jewish communities. The Golan Heights is strategic mountainous territory looking down on Israeli population centers captured by Israel after Syria twice used the territory to attack the Jewish state.
A tour of the Golan Heights yesterday found multiple Israeli army positions that local residents and soldiers stationed here say were established within the past few weeks. More tanks have been patrolling the area, with several tanks setting up shop in strategic positions looking down on Syria. Makeshift military outposts have been erected and Golan checkpoints fortified. Several old Israeli Defense Forces military installations in the Golan were reopened in the last two months. According to local soldiers, the installations have been largely unused since the 1980s.
The security officials confirmed the stepped-up military presence of Syrian troops deployed near the Syrian side of the Golan Heights with strengthened forces after carrying out increased training the past few months. The security officials said Syria recently increased production of rockets and acquired missiles capable of hitting central Israeli population centers. Last month, Syria removed a series of military checkpoints blocking off a main Damascus-Golan road to the border town of Quneitra, opening the road to civilian traffic for the first time since the 1967 Six Day War. In an interview last week, the Baath official warned Syria was preparing for war:
The security officials said any conflict with Syria could degenerate into a larger war involving Hezbollah along Israel's northern border and Palestinian terror groups launching attacks from Gaza in the south and the West Bank toward the center of Israel. (WorldNetDaily.com)
· Find a map of this area and place your hand over the areas named, praying for the protection of Israel. Pray over the Damascus/Golan road.
· Holy God, our Maker, our Creator, the lover of our souls, Redeemer, Justifier, Messiah, we beseech Your help in this violent build up for war. We proclaim Your Word: "I have set watchmen on your walls. O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth." (Isaiah 62:6,7)
· "I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew." (Romans 11:2 a,b)